Ontario’s Government for the People took the next step in its fight against the federal government’s plan to impose a carbon tax on Ontario families and businesses.
Rod Phillips, Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, announced that the government has filed a statement with the Court of Appeal summarizing the arguments it will make challenging the constitutionality of the federal government’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. This is part of the government’s efforts to put money back in the pockets of the hard-working people of Ontario.
The province’s position in court will be that the federal act imposes an unconstitutional tax on Ontarians because:
Putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions is not within the power of the federal government. Provinces are capable of regulating greenhouse gas emissions themselves and there is no need to expand the scope of the federal government’s powers to allow it to impose a one-size-fits-all federal carbon price.
Greenhouse gases are caused by a wide range of activity and are not the kind of single, indivisible matter that the federal government can regulate as a national concern.
The federal act imposes unconstitutional taxes contrary to Section 53 of the Constitution Act, 1867. The act does not require the funds to be used for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, there is not a sufficient link between the charges and the stated regulatory purpose – reducing greenhouse gases – for the charges to be valid. Accordingly, the charges imposed by the act are unconstitutional, disguised taxes.
“We have a mandate from the people of Ontario to use every tool at our disposal to protect Ontario families and businesses from the federal carbon tax,” said Minister Phillips.
“A carbon tax has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with increasing government revenue. It will drive up the cost of gas, home heating fuel and everyday items for people across this province.”
This fall, the government will be introducing an integrated made-in-Ontario environmental plan that will fight climate change and keep our air, land and waters clean for future generations. Ontario will continue to be a leader in protecting the environment while respecting and protecting taxpayers.